Sermon for the Seventh Sunday after Easter & Memorial Day Weekend – May 28, 2017/Year A

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Too often we get stuck in a paradoxical time between times of the first and second coming of Christ. In this two-thousand year stretch of transition ministry and expectation of Christ coming again “in power and great glory to judge the earth”, we are called to carry on the mission that Jesus began. We are not to sit idly by twiddling our thumbs as an important part of this mission is to welcome the stranger as Jesus himself showed us how to do, since the essence of our faith is expressed in community. Sometimes the Church, and that is you and me, forgets that we are called into community. Without each other, we fall far short of the heaven-on-earth vision of what we might be for each other.

See the sermon for the Seventh Sunday after Easter & Memorial Day Weekend – May 28, 2017/Year A.

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Sermon for the Sixth Sunday of Easter – May 21, 2017/Year A

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Christ suffered for the sins of all the righteous and unrighteous alike in order to bring us to God. The redemptive suffering of Christ serves for all humanity even those who hadn’t had the opportunity to learn God’s truth.

It is through baptism we are all united with Christ. The Advocate dwells in everyone who loves Jesus and honors his commandments.

See The Reverend Deacon Cecily Sawyer Harmon’s Sermon for the Sixth Sunday of Easter – May 21, 2017/Year A.

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Sermon for The Fifth Sunday of Easter & Mother’s Day – May 14, 2017/Year A

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“Those first communities of The Way, like that of John’s Gospel, heard these words in the context of a particular time and particular events in their lives. The persecution of “those Jesus followers” was real and rampant all around them. It was a time they were called to lean and live into this faith of Jesus as THEIR way, THEIR truth, and THEIR life, even to THEIR death. Now two millennia later, the words of Jesus invitation into this LIVING faith still echo for those of us along this journey, but it is a different time and context. Sadly, these same words of invitation into a LIVING faith are often used as a bludgeon against “those other people.””

See the sermon for Sermon for The Fifth Sunday of Easter & Mother’s Day – May 14, 2017 / Year A in its entirety.

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Sermon for The Third Sunday of Easter – April 30, 2017/Year A

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Most every town has a store in which there is nothing but lamps, hundreds and sometimes thousands of lamps. Some are antique, some are new, some are plain, and some are ornate. Some of them are unplugged while others are showcasing their light. One day a little girl was shopping for new lamps with her mother. When asked which lamps she liked best, she answered, “I like best the ones where the light shines out.”

This is no less true of us in our churches and our present-day witness to the Risen Christ. How well do our lives showcase our light? Who is being attracted to this light, being nourished by it, letting it penetrate and empower their lives? Macrina Wiederkehr, in her book Seven Sacred Pauses, writes of the pilgrims on the road to Emmaus: “When their eyes were opened they recognized the One who journeyed with them on their pilgrimage so full of questions … ‘Were not our hearts burning within us?’ Using slightly different words, this same question is displayed on the icon of the Emmaus journey that sits on my small altar: ‘Were not our hearts gradually catching fire?’

Eastertide is all about living OUR resurrection. So perhaps the response of Cleopas and companion might be heard for us – What is our heartburn like today?

See the sermon for Sermon for The Third Sunday of Easter – April 30, 2017/Year A in its entirety.

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Sermon for the Fourth Sunday in Lent – March 26, 2017/Year A

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Do you SEE me, now? Who is missing from our midst that we have not seen for a while? Who is here, RIGHT IN FRONT OF US, which we do not see, REALLY see for who they are as the child of God, bearing the light of Jesus, just like you and me? How many do we see through the filtered sight of preconceptions by class, race, creed, or countless other “isms” we have come to know, and at times even embrace?

See The Reverend Paul W. Gennett, Jr. sermon for the Fourth Sunday in Lent – March 26, 2017/Year A.

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Sermon for The Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany – February 19, 2017/Year A

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“Today the 7th Sunday of Epiphany, our readings are about how we treat, feel and care for one another, how do we demonstrate our love to those who are not our spouses, partners, children, close friends, or old crotchety Uncle Oscar. In the Old Testament reading, we heard laws based on the Old Testament legal principle of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” although this might sound a little hard, the intent of this law of retaliation was deeply humane. The law intended to prevent cycles of violence and personal vendettas.

Thank God we do not live under the Law, but under the New Covenant enabled by the love and life of Jesus Christ.”

See The Reverend Deacon Cecily Sawyer Harmon’s The Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany – February 19, 2017/Year A in its entirety.

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Sermon for The Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany – February 12, 2017/Year A

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“Yet the truth of the life of faith, the life of praying with your legs, is that “It takes two, baby” and many, many more. It takes the body of faith, the Church, with its wonderful mixture of liberal and conservative, evangelical and liturgical, right wing and left wing, to move forward in flight TOGETHER by sharing and being the Good News of Christ to our world, then and now. For the PEOPLE of faith, together just as we are, this means that God is more a verb than a noun, more a journey than a destination, more an experienced faith than doctrinal consideration, and most particularly more a relationship with God and Christ than a nice idea to call on when needed.”

See the The Reverend Paul W. Gennett, Jr.’s Sermon for The Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany – February 12, 2017/Year A in its entirety.

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Sermon for The Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany – January 29, 2017/Year A

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“[God] has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

These oft quoted, or misquoted, words of prophetic power have been glowing coals of missional transformations and justice seeking protests chronicled over our history. Scholars see this as Micah calling the question on the Northern Kingdom of Israel as they face the ongoing siege of the powerful Assyrian Empire in the 8th century BCE.

Likened to a prosecuting attorney, God challenges the people of Israel through this series of rhetorical questions. Each question is laced with certain amounts of pain through the truth of their unfaithfulness to God’s will and ways. No matter the answer, it will not be the answer God has then or now desires. We might see this as an ancient example of current day “spinning” of the story with alternative facts.

See the Sermon for The Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany – January 29, 2017/Year A in its entirety and see all sermons.